It wasn’t a Convention to decide the Republican ticket, but the foundation of a new party that would be: the defender of blue collar workers and farmers in the name of America First; dedicated to fighting poverty and the degradation that afflicts the country’s ghettos with Opportunity Zones that are fiscally subsidized; proud pro-life and religious freedom advocate; the bulwark for the flag and the heroic figures of American history that are symbols of the valor and ideals that are embedded within the Constitution; the staunch defender of law and order, in the midst of the chaos and violence that has been devastating Seattle, Portland, and Minneapolis for months, and now, Kenosha in Wisconsin.
That Donald Trump and Mike Pence had a lock on the votes to secure the nomination was known for months, as the GOP primaries (useless, as there aren’t any competitors) brought masses of Trump fans to the polls, in numbers never seen before. Wherever they were held (in New York and in other states — the local GOP committees had been cancelled to save money), they attracted 19 million citizens, and 18.1 million voted for the president, leaving crumbs for certain other dissidents whose name no one remembers.
This participation, superfluous on a practical level, can be read only as the electoral temperature that drives the party, shaped by Trump in his first term in office and destined to no longer be that of Romney and McCain. The two Republican flagbearers in the previous election of 2004 and 2008 embodied a classic conservatism, moderates according to the establishment. Close to – actually an integral part of the military-political world (John McCain) and of the corporations (former governor Mitt Romney)– the two “barons” were easy prey for the Democratic campaigns to dispatch. Obama painted them in a mocking and ruthless manner, as losers representing the elite world of old politics and greedy business. Both of them lost in fact, and for this reason they later became heroes for the liberals, as they love Republicans when they are defeated, and above all when they become “Never Trumpers” .
The president “is not an idealogue” is the mantra of many commentators, based on the fact that in his life, as a real estate mogul that had to deal with local administrations of all kinds, he was for many years a registered Democrat– if not a Republican. And he donated money to all campaigns, even Kamala Harris’s once when she was running to become Attorney General in California. When his business was no longer that of constructing buildings and casinos, but instead that of leading the USA Corporation, the political novice reinvented himself as manager and the ideas and the programs became instruments to produce the revenues and profits that a president should know how to pass down to his “shareholders”, the citizens.
In this sense, every measure that Trump has advocated for, and then brought to fruition while in the White House, is in truth, “ideological”. Some have been in line with Republican tradition: first off, cutting taxes and enforcing regulations. And how can we deny the nomination of two rigorously conservative justices to the Supreme Court, and the 200 in the Appeals Court, all approved by the Federalist Society that preaches literal adherence to the spirit of the Constitution of 244 years ago?
And what was the significance of being the first president to participate in the March for Life? The sincere adherence to the fight against abortion, a basic expression of Christian faith, that is in effect par excellence an “ideological” one? Or was it to “gain votes”? To the millions of Evangelicals and Catholic “shareholders” of the president, concrete acts are important. And the repentant former manager of Planned Parenthood (the abortion factory), that participated in the Convention, thanked Trump for his administrative measures and for the support on the part of the courts for protecting the freedom of conscience. Trump also ripped up old commercial pacts with Canada, Mexico, China and Japan, to reevaluate them and create better conditions for workers in the USA.
The GOP followed the “ideology” of free commerce, but Trump upset the apple cart and corrected it to be “free and equal commerce with partners with the respect for American interests”. Was it the protectionist line of the Union and the Democrats? Of course. But from the time of the 2016 campaign, the “atypical Republican” had promised to exit NAFTA, thereby robbing Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton of the exclusive defense of workers who were the victims of pro-Chinese globalization.
However, it is the defense of “law and order” that unexpectedly asserted itself as a central theme of the Republican convention. One would think that the defense against the attacks and devastation committed by extremists and looters would be a bipartisan question by definition. Instead, Biden and his constituents did not even approach the subject during their four days of being on Zoom, gifting the GOP with a subject that was an obvious one to approach. In fact, a Democratic delegate from Georgia, Vernon Jones, spoke on the first evening of the GOP convention praising Trump and criticizing Biden, because the latter does not clearly oppose “defunding the police”. It is not by chance that the police unions of the city and state of New York have endorsed Trump.
And Jones is an African American, mind you. One of the many that appeared on the evenings of the Convention to demonstrate the growing diversity within the GOP: from the former Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley (Indiana) to the black senator Tim Scott; from the young black constituent from Baltimore, Kim Blacik, to Herschel Walker, former soccer champion and black, who stated, “I’ve been Trump’s friend for 37 years, and he is not a racist. I’m from the south and I know what it means to be racist.”
Trump’s GOP has also changed its demographic profile. In fact, there have never been as many Republican congressional candidates as there will be this coming November. And the homophobic attacks? Among the speakers there was the first homosexual nominated as ambassador to Berlin and then as Security Advisor, Richard Grenell. It is by now impossible to label the GOP as a socially obscurantist party, as the Democrats tried to do in the past with some propagandistic success. And it is ironic that it is precisely the Trump that was accused of being “homophobic, racist [and] sexist” by Clinton during her unsuccessful campaign to favor this metamorphosis.
In the speech that will take place on Thursday evening, in a few hours, the president will have to be disciplined and reaffirm the new path. He’s behind in the polls, but he was behind in 2016 as well. And this time, he may perhaps even have Black Lives Matter, Antifa and the other thugs as inadvertent allies, as they open the eyes of that silent America that cannot take disorder and anarchy any longer.
Translated by Emmelina De Feo